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Review of Sorts: Homecoming of Terror – House of Cards (Season 5)

House of Cards Season 5 Zee Cafe

Homecoming of Terror – House of Cards (Season 5)

 
House of Cards is a show I love to hate. It’s dark and morbid, and is all about how bad things can get, how bad people can be and just how many holes our political system has. As a story it shocks and disgusts me, as people are used and abused in the fight for power.

Evil has its own attraction though, it’s own magic and even if you don’t give in to it, it’s still facinating to watch it from the sidelines. I confess, I’m attracted to the morbidity of House of Cards and I just can’t stop watching it. 😀

When season 4 ended with Claire Underwood breaking the fourth wall for the first time in the series by looking the audience in the eye, it was a ringer for more to come or so I hoped. Frank Underwood maybe be the main protagonist but it is Claire who has had my attention through the last few seasons.

Claire Underwood House of Cards

Claire Underwood as a character has been building and getting stronger. And it is she who opens this latest season talking straight at the camera. If the first episode is an indication, then there are more things to come with Claire Underwood this season.

The Underwood’s though are still keeping up their classic hustle, juggling and controlling people and situations. And when nothing else works, creating situations and then controlling them. Frank’s is a reign of terror and chaos.

But this is also election year and so, the games, the ploys, the setups, the trip-ups, they are all, all the more visible. There is no way the world of House of Cards can be real and yet seeing the blatant use of every loop hole, the lack of basic decency and the loss of essential humanity is a shocker. The depravity of it all is scary.

Will and Hannah Conway House of Cards Season 5

Since it’s election year, there is also an insight to be had into what it takes to be a power couple. The single minded focus, the team work, the dedication, the price of it all and the toll it takes on relationships and family. And we get to see it all not just with the Underwood’s but also Frank’s republican opponent Will Conway and his wife Hannah.

House of Cards is a show I love to hate and yet I can’t stop myself from watching it. Maybe the shows depravity says something about me, yet, I can’t stop until the end. I’ve started and watched one episode, now there will be no stopping, the whole season will be watched. 😛

“Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee Café!” #HOConZCafe

Shout out and thanks to Indiblogger and Zee Cafe for the opportunity to watch and review House of Cards, Season 5 Episode 1.

Photo Credit: HOC Poster, Claire Underwood, Will and Hannah Conway

June 2, 2017   No Comments

The #FlipkartOutdoors #Indiblogger Meet: A Recap

#FlipkartOutdoors #Indiblogger Meet

Indiblogger meets are all about product promotions and yesterday was no different with Flipkart showcasing outdoor products from Altec Lansing, Samsung Gear S2, Red Chief Shoes, Polaroid Cube, Coleman and Garmin at this #FlipkartOutdoors meet.

But that isn’t why I attend, my reasons have nothing to do with the promotion or freebies. My attendance is all about friends and fun – meeting the bloggers I’ve grown close-to over previous meets and who I look forward to catching up with. Though the freebies are definitely welcome too. 😀

An hours bus journey took us from Ulsoor to Mango Mist Resort yesterday morning, where breakfast awaited us before the day started with a warm-up Indiblogger style. 😀

Here’s the line-up of products we got introduced to before the fun started.

Red Chief Shoes

This desi company makes casual shoes for men. These shoes are great if you want to give the impression that you are the that cool outdoorsy man, but make note these shoes are not recommended for actual hiking or trekking.
 
Red Chief Shoes

One thing that I thought was really cool was that these shoes are supposed to be biodegradable, yep the sole too!
 
Biodegradable Red Chief Shoes

Sadly they don’t have anything for women, and won’t have anything on offer for the fairer sex for another three years!

Polaroid

I’ve used the GoPro a couple to times before and really like it. It’s great for those crazy things Che and I do, it’s why I was excited to see the Polaroid Cube. It’s size and feel are the pluses for me but its magnetism which is a great feature to use for in car recording etc. was a put as it’s powerful enough wipe clean data and hence makes the device unsafe for handbag carrying. :(
 
Polaroid Cube

I was also excited to see and try the Polaroid Snap. Che’s been using the Instax Wide over the last one month and a comparison was but inevitable. I’m not the best judge of quality but I did like the sticker format of images, the option to choose between b/w, colour and sepia and the size of the camera. I’d love to try out the next version of the Snap as it’s supposed to have instant photos and a data card so you can take multiple prints if you wish.
 
Polaroid Snap

Altec Lansing

Lately I’ve been on the lookout for good earphones for running, wired or unwired. The new Altec Lansing Bluetooth Headphones wowed me. They tuck in well into the ear, are water proof, have great battery backup and are offered at a good price. Only drawback was the battery like thing on the cable that feels like a weight hanging off the ears.
 
Altec Lansing Lifejacket Speakers

There were also the Lifejacket speakers which were a crowd draw with their pulsating water to the beat of music. These little babies are not at all delicate,we hurled them 20 feet away and they continued to play. They beasts are rugged and waterproof. Prefect for our doggie house, me thinks… but wait, are they doggie proof? 😛

Garmin

Ironically it was just last month that I bought the Suunto Ambit 2 R from Flipkart and I’ve been a satisfied user for a couple of weeks now. That said, after seeing and handling the Garmin devices on display yesterday, I think a Garmin device would have been a good buy too.
 
Garmin Gear for Runners

But when we were choosing the device, we’d been disappointed by Garmin’s prices in India. I bought the Suunto at Rs.15,000; the Garmin equivalent (Forerunner 620) is Rs.27,825 on Flipkart!!!
 
Suunto Ambit 2R vs Garmin Forerunner 620

I hope Garmin works on their pricing, this same watch is $239.99 on Amazon.com, thats Rs. 16,494 (at rate 68.73%). It’s cheaper to buy it in dollars!!!
Garmin on Flipkart
Garmin on Amazon India
Garmin on Amazon.com

Coleman

Don’t go by my photo of Shantanu investigating below, I was amazed that these guys have even a porta-potty! Aside from that they also had tents, bottles, compass, foldable chairs, insulated tiffin boxes and bungee cords on display. This was the most outdoorsy counter, if you ask me. 😉
 
Coleman even had a Port-a-potty, Shatanu investigates

Samsung Gear S2

I don’t really know how good these are for the serious outdoorsy folk or fitness addicts but they look really cool with colour display, phone sync, touch screen, etc. These would be cool everyday android wear.
 
Samsung Gear S2

 

Customary niceties over. Now on to the fun part (after a quick review of the resort of course). 😉

Mango Mist Resort
Mango Mist Resort is one those activity based resorts set in a Mango orchard. They offer a host of activities from zorbing to fish spa. They have a variety of packages available but almost all of them only have 4 coupons included (each coupon is worth Rs.50).

So what are coupons. Coupons can we used to do activities like rock climbing, crossing Burma bridges, climbing rope ladders, zip-lining, zorbing and more. There are a lot of activities offered but with just 4 coupons nothing much can be done, especially since it’s not one coupon per activity, some activities need 2 or 3 coupons. :(

I had to request for more coupons and as always the Indiblogger guys obliged. Thank guys for the extra fun. :) Before I go on, a quick note on Mango Mist Resort – the resort is nice and the food good too. I liked the variety of packages offered with cottage and tent accommodations too so you can stay over and have more fun.

I big drawback was the lake behind the resort. It smells obnoxious and looks dirty too. A little work and help of the resort guys might make this eye-sore a beautiful water body and a good addition to the resort, it’d nice to see resorts give back to nature. The other down like I mentioned before was the limited coupons.

Ok, all that formality done. Here’s some pictures and a video of all that happened for me. 😉

 

Burma Bridge
I thought this would be easy compared to the others but man was this scary, with my phobia for ledges I giggled in nervousness all the way across the bridge.

 

Burma Bridge
Here’s the one Parinita choose. When looking at someone doing it, it’s so easy to give advise and think you’d do it better. Doing it though is a completely different thing.

 

Mango Mist Resort Bar
After all that activity, like all good girls, we hit the bar. 😉

 

Inside the Zorb
After watching zorbing on TV many a time, I’ve always wanted to try it out. Bhawna and I had a screaming match in there and so much fun. That’s how we looked at the end of the roll. 😀
Another item checked on the bucket-list.

 

The Paintball Winners

And we finally ended the day with paintball and we won. That’s the team – don’t know what we were thinking but its an excellent capture. 😀 Below is what I won.A girly pink 3 box insulated tiffin system that keeps food both hot and cold.
Coleman Tiffin Box

I’d made instagram videos through the day, but putting up each one, just makes for a lot of video. (Plus Instagram is a pain with embeds). So, here’s a mash-up of the day on my Youtube channel.
 

 
It was a super fun day and tiring too. Catching up with friends and doing crazy stuff is tiring. 😀

A couple of shout outs at the end –
Thanks Flipkart and Indiblogger for a spectacular day.
Rajiv for the morning ride. That was exciting!
Che for taking over at home so I could get away… Thanks isn’t enough 😛
Bhawna and Pari for the wonderful company that made the day even better. 😉

February 21, 2016   14 Comments

Indiblogger’s #BNLF is finally here, and I’m Going…

 
#BNLF Blog Now Live Forever

This weekend I’m off to Mumbai to attend the Indiblogger, BNLF event. BNLF which stands for Blog Now and Live Forever is a one of a kind event being organised for the first time in India and I’m all excited to attend.

Years from now when we look back at blogging and it’s history in India, it’ll be cool to boast about the fact that I was there at the first big blogging event. Hey, I do like boasting a bit. But aside from that I’m also looking forward to meeting a lot of old friends and making some new ones.

BNLF Blog Now Live Forever

I’ve got to start packing once I’m done here, yep I know it’s early considering I leave early morning on Saturday and I still have one more day tomorrow but don’t even talk or think of tomorrow, it’s going to be a crazy day with me running around getting things done and organising & instructing for when I’m gone [the control freak me, doesn’t give up easily 😀 ].

So while I printout my passes and make notes on the agenda, here’s some of what is expected at BNLF.

There’s going to be two packed days of talks and discussions with some very interesting speakers. The line up includes Blog Coach – Jeff Bullas, Video Blogger – Kanan Gill, Author – Preeti Shenoy, Blogger – Purba Ray, Blogger – Arnab Ray, Marketer – Christoph Trappe, Blogger – Anshul Tiwari and last the icing on the cake, Bruce Dickinson – Lead singer Iron Maiden.

I’m looking forward to some of the sessions as they sound very promising and I’m hoping to learn some new tips and tricks.

Day 1 covers public relations for a blogger, life changing capabilities of blogging, telling authentic stories, public opinion and bloggers, creating videos, tips for global blogging success, blogging to book and turning readers into fans. Phew! thats a lot!

But there’s more on day 2 – an entire session on authentic stories, creating them and moving away from traditional marketing with Christoph Trappe, followed by 7 steps to master blogging by Jeff Bullas. Day two doesn’t have a lot of speakers but it looks packed!

In-between this there is also be a backstage party on 31st after the day is done and it’s invite only but I get to go coz all IndiCrew members get access. (IndiCrew is a volunteer bunch who help with the back-end stuff).

BNL Blog Now Live Forever

Apart from all that, the Indiblogger guys say there will also be “an authentic Mexican restaurant on wheels, a Master Class on Italian cuisine, a wall to climb, some smoking hot rides and a whole lot more”.

This weekend is going to be fun. I’ll tell you all about it once it’s done but you can also follow updates from me on Twitter – @Freya3377.

That’s it from me this week… I’m off to wrap-up and pack… :)

October 30, 2015   No Comments

The Asus IndiBlogger Meet 2015: #GoSleeekAsusExperience

Photo Credit: IndiBlogger

One of the highlights of this week was the Indiblogger meet on Friday. I first heard about it in an email from them and as always promptly called Vidya to ask if she was going too.

There was a requirement to write a post that compared the latest Asus ebook and ET PC that had me wondering. I don’t like doing promo posts on my blog unless it ties-in in some way with the objective of my blog. So…

Vids and I talked and grudgingly agreed to write posts so we could get an excuse to meet-up. Then 5 days before the event, as I struggled to get myself to sit down and write, I find an email invite to the event. You should have seen me air punch with glee.

A quick call confirmed Vids had got a mail too. Now, the plan was on and without writing a promotional post. Yippee… 😀

Friday couldn’t come fast enough and the week slowly rolled past. Creeping and crawling along, Friday did get here and I headed out on my long cross-country trip to ITC Gardenia.

This time the Indiblogger Team was authenticating people with ID proof! That was a new one, I’d never had to do that until now and I wonder why it was required this time.

Photo Credit: IndiBlogger

Registration complete we headed in and settled down around tables. I don’t know why this happens but almost always there will be women tables and mens tables. It just happens and it’s just weird!

The event started with a performance from the Indiblogger Team. And it was fun I say! Here’s a glimpse.

Sweet dreams at @gosleeekasusexperience

A post shared by Life as Freya (@freya3377) on

This was followed by an icebreaker in which each person had to convince people to give them something personal. The objective was to get as many articles as possible. The results were fascinating – some people got over 20 items, some managed to collect so rather expensive articles and some collected smart things like autographs and selfies.

This was followed by a presentation by the Asus guys on the Asus EeeBook X205 and the All-in-One PC ET 2040, which are the latest products from the Asus stable.

Considering that I have used an Asus laptop for the last two years, this is a brand I like. The EeeBook was light and felt nice on the fingers but I overheard the tech bloggers saying that it’s memory specs were not great.

The PC looked really interesting in the presentation but the real thing turned out to be too big for my liking, almost as big as a TV. But that said it did have this rather cool feature of reading gestures.

This activity was followed by the group being broken up into 4 teams. Each team was given a theme and we had to do a skit on blogging based on the theme.

Team 2 according to me was the best. When came up with their own blogging related lyrics and danced to Gangam Style. I was in Team 2 and our topic was Pirates of the Caribbean. I was water girl as you can see. 😛

Photo Credit: IndiBlogger

By the time all this got done, we were running a bit late, so Anup announced that all winners would be announced in a couple of days, the group photo got taken and everyone charged towards the dinner counters.

Photo Credit: IndiBlogger

The rest you know. I dabowed and ate. There was a large spread but the Dum Biryani was the hero for me and I even ate seconds. Desserts were so-so, the mud pie and Mysore Pak were the only ones I enjoyed. Eating complete, the race was on again to get home.

I have two reasons for attending a blogger meet. 1. It’s a chance to meet blogger friends who you won’t landup meeting otherwise. 2. There’s lots of freebies to be won.

This time I caught with friends and we talked dime a dozen trying to catchup with all that had happened in almost a year. But the event lacked freebies. For the first time in over 4 blogger meets I came back home empty-handed.

Greedy me but I hope IndiBlogger has more prizes next time. 😮 And more events too since there hasn’t been one in a long time and this was the first one of 2015.

Overall a good evening spent with friends. May this year have many more of those. :)

February 1, 2015   2 Comments